RUSKIN: Bruce Marsh artwork showcased

Published on: October 3, 2018

Artist captures unique landscapes of Florida

Bruce Marsh giclée featured in Ruskin

By STEPHEN FLANAGAN JACKSON

STEPHEN FLANAGAN JACKSON PHOTO
Bruce Marsh’s artwork titled Ruskin, U.S. 41 With Rain is displayed at the Hillsborough County Southshore Regional Service Center between Ruskin and Sun City Center. Gregg Griffith of Griffith A/C admires the painting, above, which is said to dignify the suburban sprawl by capturing a moment of extraordinary beauty.

“I’m always working to avoid generalizing on anything, trying to keep each leaf or stone or wave specific and individual.”

This, in his own words, is how renowned artist Bruce Marsh describes his approach to creating the Florida landscapes paintings which have gained him a national reputation. Marsh is now a resident of the South Shore area in Ruskin, and his work can be viewed at the Hillsborough County Southshore Regional Service Center where a large giclée of a Marsh painting has been permanently installed.

According to the director of the Firehouse Cultural Center in Ruskin, Georgia Vahue, the contemporary giclée has become a valuable addition to the art world. “Giclée” is a French term, which means to spray ink. The pronunciation of giclée is “zhee-clay.” Essentially a giclée is the reproduction of an original two-dimensional work of art using a highly specialized inkjet printer.

This particular piece of Marsh’s art is Ruskin, U.S. 41 With Rain. The Public Art Committee of Hillsborough County selected Marsh’s work for this exhibit and authorized the county to purchase it. Marsh is also on the board of directors of the Firehouse Cultural Center in Ruskin.

Marsh, in his work, achieves combining the real and the ideal in his art renditions. He describes himself as “an idealist.” Whatever “school” or category or niche — Realists, Impressionists, Ashcan, Expressionist, Hyperrealist — it is not style that sets Marsh apart. It is, as one critic points out, Marsh’s intensity and commitment to mediate outer sensory experience and inner vision through the medium of oil painting on canvas.

Whether it is a Marsh painting of Ruskin, U.S. 41 or Ruskin Sky or Downtown Ruskin or Bay Waves or Truckstop, Marsh is not presenting to the viewer some abstract or cubist version subject to the viewer’s perception or interpretation. Marsh is presenting to the viewer of his art a sense of reality based on Marsh’s own “very close and focused observation.”

As Marsh himself points out, he uses color in a critical manner to involve atmosphere, space and shifting light provided by the world around him in Florida. Marsh bases his work on the world as he has experienced it, with his brush strokes of oil on linen creating an essentially abstract representation of his visual experience.

Marsh was born in California in 1937 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1959, and a Master of Arts in painting from California State at Long Beach in 1965. Over his professional career he has devoted his energies equally to teaching and painting. 

In 1969, he joined the faculty at the University of South Florida where he taught until retiring as Professor Emeritus in 2003. Marsh has exhibited his paintings in Florida and the Southeast as well as in Los Angeles, New York and Hawaii. Museum shows include the Vero Beach Museum of Art, the Tampa Museum of Art and the Maitland Museum of Art and Art History.

 Describing Marsh’s work, critics have observed that Marsh’s landscape paintings deftly capture the sensuous qualities of the natural and manmade environment. His luminous canvases exude the effects of light on various surfaces from the ripples on a mangrove bay, patterns in shell beds, and billowing clouds to cracked pavement, eroded soil, and even the view through the wet glass of a windshield.

An extensive archive of Marsh is available at www.brucemarsh.net, and at www.brucemarsh.wordpress.com.

 

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